Here’s the story of a mall Santa who’d be better off dressing as The Grinch. Last Friday, a young autistic girl and her assistance dog, Pup-cake, waited in line with the other children to meet Santa at The Shops in Mission Viejo, California. As you can imagine, the girl, who is referred to as “Abcde” to protect her privacy, was giddy with excitement. But what happened when her turn arrived was shocking:
To her dismay, Santa was afraid of her service dog, a sweet pit bull with as patient a disposition as Abcde, only to be turned away due to what we can only assume is the influence of BSL (breed specific legislation). After the Santos family offered to remove the dog from the area, the building, Santa still refused to see the child; sending her away heartbroken leaving a family to comfort a child instead of celebrating her accomplishments.
Pup-cake has a pretty popular Facebook page, and the family posted their story there.
To their credit, Simon Property Management and The Shops at Mission Viejo reacted quickly, firing the Bad Santa and Elf and apologizing to the Santos family. Let’s hope that the fired employees find their holiday cheer somewhere over the next few weeks.